Brendan Rodgers proving he is the only elite manager in Glasgow

As Celtic get prepared to take on an Aberdeen side who have struggled this season at lunchtime today in the sunshine at Hampden, it’s imperative that everyone at the club remains focused on our goals amongst all the drama that has unfolded in Scottish football during the past week. In a week that has saw the wheels come off at Ibrox, it will be up to our manager Brendan Rodgers to prove he is worth his hefty pay packet and get our squad laser focused on a potentially tricky Scottish Cup tie before we turn our attention to seeing out a league campaign that has been full of twists and turns. Thankfully I think we have the perfect man for the job.

Throughout this campaign many have questioned whether Brendan Rodgers is truly the ‘elite’ manager that many have claimed. Things have not ran as smoothly this time around for the Carnlough man in the Celtic hot seat as it did during his previous stint in charge. This season has been far from plain sailing from a Celtic point of view. We meekly surrendered the league cup going out in the earlier rounds against Kilmarnock. Then from a position of strength in the league we managed to throw away that advantage to a rather poor theRangers side, who seemed to get an extended bounce from the introduction of new manager Phillippe Clement. To say we have struggled for consistency this year is an understatement.

It does seem however, as our manager recently claimed, that Celtic ‘come alive’ at this time of the year. Since our loss to Hearts at the start of March, we have went on a bit of a tear with the only points dropped being against our title rivals, who celebrated that draw at home with a stadium full of their fans like a season defining win. We have saw in the past couple of weeks their managers mask slip. He has went, in the eyes of their fans at least, from a manager who displayed all the traits of an ‘elite’ manager, to one who is starting to act and sound like the second coming of Pedro Caixinha.

This is where all of us who questioned Brendan Rodgers credentials are starting to see what he is all about. As the Belgian across the city flounders under the pressure, giving stranger rambling television interviews by the day, our manager remains composed at all times. Brendan has spoke already this week, as reported on The Celtic Star, about their focus being on the Scottish Cup semi final and nothing else. Greg Taylor has said the same, showing he has been hammering home the message to the players also. As theRangers manager was spouting about a draw at Ibrox against Celtic being a ‘moral victory’, our manager was focused on the next match against St Mirren.

During that match against the Buddies we struggled in the first half, partly due to the gale force winds blowing around Celtic Park. The Celtic manager however sent the troops back out with renewed vigour in the second period and the team broke down the opposition to ease towards the 3 points in the end, helped of course by some well timed substitutions. This Celtic team looks unflappable at the moment and much of that will of course come from the constant composure under pressure demonstrated by our manager.

It’s only under real pressure that we clearly get to see the difference between a truly ‘elite’ manager and a pretender. This past week has shown that the two managers at the biggest clubs in Glasgow are truly worlds apart. It’s now up to Brendan Rodgers to steer this Celtic team towards a League and Scottish Cup double, which in what has felt like a rather underwhelming season overall, would certainly leave all us fans with a huge smile on our faces over the summer months.

If things do go to plan, and I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch, then it will be up to the board to back the manager all the way in the summer. With the Champions League money bigger than ever Celtic fans will not accept anything else other than a change of strategy when it comes to player recruitment. We need to loosen the purse strings slightly and trust the manager to take this club to the next level. Only then will we truly discover just how ‘elite’ Brendan Rodgers really can be.

Conall McGinty

About Author

Hailing from Cushendall in the North of Ireland my formative years were spent watching Celtic during our barren spell through the 90's which meant I have appreciated our recent trophy-laden spell even more. Favourite matches home and away I've attended has to be beating Man Utd 1-0 at Celtic Park and being with my 2 brothers watching us beat Lazio 2-1 in Rome. Best away day experience? Has to be Munich with friends from Coatbridge...what a few days!


  1. Raymond Duffy on

    Elite manager??? How long does he need to establish a defence which can snuff out high balls? How long to find a left back who can actually defend? How long would an elite manager play a guy at centre half, who came to us as a midfielder and struggles under pressure? He states that Forrest is the best winger at the club, so what does that say about recruitment? Would an elite manager have played McGregor? Would an elite manager have subbed Hatate, just as he was showing his worth.
    Elite manager? Not for me.